Rugby club launches appeal to fund vital clubhouse roof repairs

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The clubhouse hall at West Leeds RUFC clubhouse, in Wortley.

By Katherine Turner

West Leeds RUFC based at Blue Hill Lane in Wortley are urgently appealing for help. They have launched a crowdfunding appeal to raise vital funds for repairs.

The appeal had an initial target of £10,000 which has now been stretched to £87,000 to complete everything that is needed. 

Barry Breakwell, president, said: “Our initial crowdfunding target is £10,000 – and with this we will repair our leaking roof, have a lovely decorated welcoming hallway, redecorate our club and have some modern furniture that allows everyone to socialise and enjoy our little Club. But we want to do so much more!”

After reaching their target of 50 pledges the club has also had a pledge of £4,000 from Sport England, subject to the club independently raising £10,000 before 17 May 2023. 

The club has played on its existing facilities for 96 years. It has successful senior rugby teams, a thriving junior rugby section and also works alongside other sports sections such as rugby league (Bramley Buffaloes RLFC), football (Wortley AFC) and American football (Leeds Bobcats). 

The club also has an active social membership, engaging with the community to provide facilities for the local council to showcase community projects and activities and other events.

They are a fully inclusive club with a sport and social offering to all ages, genders and ethnic backgrounds.

The crowdfunding page explains the clubhouse is starting to show its age and is in need of modernisation. The club is looking to replace all the flat roofs with new pitched roofs. The club has suffered from water ingress issues.

The much-needed funds will be used to install solar panels and be more eco-friendly. Plans include improving the showers and changing facilities. The solar panels will also include battery storage which will help power pitch lights and the clubhouse more sustainably.

Barry said: “These are significant projects but will have such a huge impact on a community which benefits from this historic site of sport at our little club down the lane.” 

The leaking boiler.

Rich Smith, parent and coach at West Leeds RUFC, said: “The clubhouse is a vital part of the rugby club; it gives the players a place to relax in a friendly after match atmosphere whilst socialising with teammates and opponents.

“Having nice facilities are a good way to attract new players, supporters and volunteers all of which are constantly needed to survive as well as making us more welcoming to the local community.

“My son George started at West Leeds aged 4 the club I played for, for around 20 year. From the start he had fun whilst learning about the sport from which he has made a good group of friends. Hopefully the club can continue to provide the opportunity for him to continue playing and develop into adult rugby.”

The crowdfunder explains that they desperately need support and there are four simple ways people can get involved:

  1. Make a pledge on the crowdfunder page.
  2. Spread the word
  3. Offer rewards, prizes or some time as a volunteer
  4. Set up your own fundraising page

For more information, contact Barry Breakwell on 07557 282799 or e-mail barrybreakwell@btinternet.com.

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